By Dan Moren
October 31, 2017 6:02 PM PT
The Back Page: The Last Frontier
When you’re dealing with modern ecosystems, there are a ton of different battles being waged. There’s the war for the living room, the war for the pocket, the war for the desktop, even now the war for the wrist. Apple has been a player in all these spaces, making forays everywhere from the office to the car. But there’s one critical battlefield that is still up for grabs, that no company has really and truly committed to actually waging. One might argue the most critical place that modern technology has opened up for us.
That’s right: the bathroom.
First of all, let’s all acknowledge that devices get used in the bathroom. It’s true, we all know it, and there’s no point in arguing about it. Secondly, let’s not get kitschy here. I’m not talking your good old toilet paper roll/iPod dock from the early 2000s.
Apple’s already made some moves to make its devices more bathroom friendly, or did you think that waterproofing the iPhone was just in case we drop it in our lavish swimming pools? But nobody’s yet made the definitive bathroom technological gadget: not Amazon, not Google, and not Apple. (And let’s be honest here: which of those companies would you actually care to have in your bathroom?)
Exactly what such a device would be is, obviously, a bigger question. The simplest answer would be some sort of small, waterproof HomePod-like smart speaker that could play audio while you’re in the shower, for example. Sure, I’ve already got a Bluetooth speaker that attaches to the shower wall, but who likes dealing with all that pesky pairing? Regardless, that’s basically the easiest thing to do. Apple would certainly set its bathroom-conquering goals a little bit higher.
Me, I’m still an advocate of the smart mirror. Show me the day’s headlines, the weather forecast, and what’s on my calendar. Maybe even my Twitter feed, if I’m ready for a little existential horror in the morning. (Also this thing better have a hell of a defogger.) But there are so many other options.
Obviously, Apple is thinking about health tech, so there’s the obligatory smart scale. Which could not only help you track your wait on your iPhone, but also communicate with your Apple Watch to adjust your fitness goals. As long as it doesn’t include Siri sassing me about that cupcake I had yesterday.
And let’s not forget oral hygiene. The Apple Smart Toothbrush could not only leave your teeth original-iPod-white, but could even leave your mouth as minty fresh as a mint-condition iPhone. As for flossing? Well, just get a pair of AirPods.
Look, that’s just scratching the surface of Apple’s potential bathroom investments. Plungers, smart faucets, sonic showers—there’s a whole lot of bathroom devices that we use everyday that could use that Apple touch to improve design and aesthetics. And hey, the good news is that a lot of them already come in white.
[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Mastodon at @firstname.lastname@example.org or reach him by email at email@example.com. His latest novel, the supernatural detective story All Souls Lost, is now available for pre-order.]